Today we are launching the People Strategic Delivery Plan, a key enabling plan supporting delivery of our University Strategy. It has been said many times that our people are our university and it is that truth which underpins our first People SDP. Whilst the People SDP details core areas where we will prioritise our focus in supporting our staff and wider communities over the next 2 – 3 years we recognise that our people are at the heart of enabling all of the SDPs developed to support the University Strategy and as such people elements run throughout many of the plans.
It is only through and with our people that we will be able to deliver all that we have set out to achieve. With that in mind the People SDP is intentionally broader than just considering staff from a HR (Human Resources) perspective, it draws together many more areas which we know are crucial to developing, supporting and enabling our people, for example our approaches to communication, our plans for health and safety and consideration of the wider university community including our alumni and prospective future university employees. Ultimately, the People SDP is about our organisational culture - the delivery and embedding of this culture will be the responsibility of all of our staff.
The five themes identified in developing the plan and through which linked activity will be developed and delivered are:
- Priority 1: Transforming how we support staff
- Priority 2: Health, safety and wellbeing
- Priority 3: Culture, behaviour and values
- Priority 4: Realising the ambition/potential of our staff
- Priority 5: Engaging with our local and global community
We know that it will take time to develop and embed the improvements and changes that we would like to achieve through the People SDP. We have built in plans to work with staff to shape thinking and approaches as we develop the activities that will underpin the plan, and commit to continuing to listen to feedback about where things are working well and where further improvements could be made. We also hope staff will find in the SDP a reflection of the areas that you have told us need further improvement to date. Key examples which have emerged from discussions include supporting our staff wellbeing and management of workload. We aim to address these issues alongside delivering new initiatives where we want to be ambitious to improve our ways of working e.g. through adoption of agile working and providing the technology needed to manage effectively in the modern day e.g. through a new HR, Finance and Procurement system and enable related service improvements.
Continuing to build our university values into all that we do will also be an important area of focus, as will supporting our staff members’ continuing professional development. CPD is relevant and important for all staff, whether they wish to progress in their careers through promotion or new roles, or whether they wish to continually improve the way they work in their current role.
We will seek to live the values of fairness, ambition, inclusivity, respect and openness in how we approach delivery of actions enabled by the People SDP. Just as importantly we will look for ways that we can embed them in how we do things and in our ways of working together to achieve a university culture based on inclusivity, fairness, openness, respect and ambition. We have much to do but we have a running start, a commitment to listen and continue to improve and a diverse, talented community who will support us to deliver our People SDP goals and enable our wider strategy.
Jaspal Kaur, Director of HR and Sarah Sharples, PVC for EDI and People
Monday 26 July 2021